Today was the first day of learning to solve systems by substitution. We went through an example together using @cheesemonkeysf's patented "substitution by stars" method. Then, I passed out some problems for them to work through, telling them to work with their group members and only go to the next problem when everyone in the group was totally good with the previous one. There were some where students had to apply the distributive property and some where they had to isolate a variable first. We had not talked about these. I did not stop class to discuss and fix and give hints, just circulated the room and looked on. Not one kid asked me for help for the 20 minutes that they worked - they puzzled through and argued and made mistakes and erased them and made some more and eventually figured it out all on their own. Holy wow. You guys get it. We all want group work to go exactly like this, but it so rarely does.
But finally!! All of the working on norms and redirecting questions with, "Have you asked your group yet?" or "Is this a group question?" and biting my lip to avoid butting in have paid off and there was just this amazing energy and focus and I was so, so proud. Cause there aren't that many glorious classroom moments like this, and it's so easy to focus on all the ways that we aren't perfect and they aren't either. So I want to stop and acknowledge that today was exactly right and keep it in my memory bank for when I'm feeling frustrated and disgruntled. Hooray!!!!